Missouri Legislature Overrides Veto to Legalize Permitless Gun Carry
11 states now have ‘constitutional carry’
BY STEPHEN GUTOWSKI
The Missouri legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of permitless gun carry on Wednesday, making it the 11th state to adopt the policy.
Missouri legislators bypassed the governor’s wishes and instituted the new gun-friendly lawby a vote of 112-41 in the House of Representatives and 24-6 in the Senate. Under the law, anyone over 21 who can legally own a firearm may now legally carry a firearm. The move continues a nationwide trend towards what activists call “constitutional carry.”
From the nation’s founding through 2002 Vermont was the only state that didn’t require a state-issued permit to carry a firearm. Alaska became the second state to adopt the policy in 2003. Over the last six years another nine states have followed suit, making it the hottest trend in state-level gun policy.
Some Democrats, such as the Missouri governor, have decried the move as unsafe.
“As governor, I have signed bills to expand the rights of law-abiding Missourians to carry concealed and am always willing to consider ways to further improve our … process,” Nixon said after vetoing the legislation in June. “But I cannot support the extreme step of throwing out that process entirely, eliminating sensible protections like background checks and training requirements, and taking away the ability of sheriffs to protect their communities.”
Gun rights advocates, on the other hand, celebrated their victory.
“This is a great day for freedom in Missouri,” Chris Cox, head of the NRA’s lobbying arm, said. “The legislature stood strong for the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens by overriding Gov. Nixon’s misguided veto. Despite the best efforts of Michael Bloomberg and out-of-state gun control groups to defeat the override vote, their agenda was rejected.”
Lawmakers Override Governor’s Veto To Pass Constitutional Carry In Missouri
The Missouri House and Senate voted to override Democrat Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 656 yesterday, making Missouri the 11th state to reassert the right of citizens to carry a firearm for self-defense without a permission slip from the government. The votes to institute so-called “constitutional carry” were not even close.
Missouri lawmakers have overridden a veto of a wide-ranging guns bill that will let more people carry concealed weapons and give them greater legal rights to defend themselves.
The Republican-led Legislature enacted the law Wednesday by a 24-6 Senate vote and a 112-41 vote in the House. Both exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
The legislation will allow most people to carry concealed guns without needing a permit. That means they won’t have to go through the training currently required for permit holders. Missouri will join 10 other states with what supporters describe as a “constitutional carry” right.
In addition to reasserting the right of citizens to carry arms for self-defense without a permit, SB 656 also provided more legal protections for citizens forced to use firearms to defend themselves and loved ones both inside the home and outside the home.
The National Rifle Association today applauded the Missouri Legislature’s veto override of Senate Bill 656, common sense self-defense legislation that was vetoed by Governor Nixon in June. This bill will improve the ability of law-abiding gun owners to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
“This is a great day for freedom in Missouri. The legislature stood strong for the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens by overriding Gov. Nixon’s misguided veto,” said Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Despite the best efforts of Michael Bloomberg and out-of-state gun control groups to defeat the override vote, their agenda was rejected.”
Senate Bill 656 will allow anyone legally allowed to possess a firearm to carry that firearm, while also maintaining the current permit system. In addition, the bill:
- Expands Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground protections
- Adds additional permit options to include extended and lifetime permits
- Specifies that with the exception of credit card fees, no additional fee beyond $100 may be charged to process concealed carry permits
- Allows members of the military extra time to renew their permits
Michael Bloomberg’s gun control vanity project Moms Demand Action responded to this application of liberty with the sort of blistering dishonesty we’ve come to expect from them:
The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement condemning Missouri lawmakers for kowtowing to the gun lobby and ignoring Missouri voters by voting to override Governor Nixon’s veto of SB 656, a dangerous gun bill that dismantles Missouri’s concealed carry permit requirement and lets people—including some violent criminals, certain repeat drug offenders, and people with no firearms safety training— carry hidden, loaded handguns in public. SB 656 also upends traditional Missouri self-defense law and allows people to shoot to kill in public places, even when they can clearly and safely walk away from the danger. The bill makes Missouri the first new Stand Your Ground state since Trayvon Martin’s death.
The claims from Moms Demand, are, of course, an outright lie. Violent felons and drug addicts are prohibited under both state and federal law from the possession of firearms.
Moms Demand is also unashamedly and intentionally lying when they claim that people can “shoot to kill… even when they can clearly and safely walk away from the danger.” People may only use a firearm in self defense when there is an immediate, proximate, and credible threat. You cannot simply shoot someone if you can “clearly and safely walk away.”
It’s amusing that Moms Demand is still attempting to push the abject lie that “stand your ground” laws played any role whatsoever in the self-defense shooting of street-fighting criminal Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman’s defense was traditional, conventional self-defense. Florida’s “stand your ground” laws were not applicable to the incident, and were not mentioned at all in the trial by either the prosecution or the defense. The only time the words “stand your ground” were mentioned at all in the trial was when the jury was read boilerplate instructions that are read in all homicide trials before the jury begins deliberations.
“Stand your ground” laws have been disproportionately used by minorities in self-defense cases. It is disturbing that Moms Demand Action—a group fronted by a rich white woman and bankrolled by an even richer white man—seems to be against people of color having the right to lawful self-defense.
Missouri’s passage of SB 656 is the fourth passage of a “constitutional carry” law just this year, with Idaho, Mississippi, and West Virginia preceding the “Show Me” state, showing that support for gun rights is rapidly expanding, even as anti-gun Democrats risk electoral suicide by running against the will of the voters.